With the Major League All-Star Break officially behind us, it is now time that everyone is going to start looking ahead to the July 31 trade deadline and which teams will make moves to get themselves into position to bring home a World Series championship come October.
Every year there are always one or two huge names that everyone knows will make a big splash for their respective teams once the deals are made.
Last season, the trades for CC Sabathia and Manny Ramirez gave the Brewers and Dodgers the boosts that they needed to get up over the hump in the second half of the season. Both players didn't disappoint, as they led their teams into the postseason.
Ramirez had one of the better postseasons that I can remember of the past few seasons, whereas Sabathia put Milwaukee on his back to get them there but then struggled in the NLDS against the Phillies.
This season should be no different, as quite a few big names have been tossed around in trade rumors around the league. Oakland outfielder Matt Holliday, Pittsburgh second baseman Freddy Sanchez, and former Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee of the Indians are just a few of the names that are the topic of these rumors.
But as many baseball fans probably already know, the biggest name on the trading block this season is Toronto starter Roy Halladay.
Halladay, who has emerged as one of, if not the best, starting pitchers in the game, is now officially on the trade market. Many teams are chomping at the bit for the chance to take home the belle of this season's trade deadline ball.
The teams that I think have the best chance of picking up Halladay are the defending world champion Philadelphia Phillies, the St. Louis Cardinals, and Toronto's AL East rivals the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. However, one team that a lot of people aren't talking about that I think has a legitimate shot at getting Halladay is the Colorado Rockies—but I'll go more into that later.
So, without further ado (yes, I actually looked that up to make sure it was "ado" and not "adieu"), here is what I think those teams might need to give up to gain the services of Halladay come July 31.
The Phillies seem like they could be a perfect fit for Halladay. They are in the National League and will be playing teams like the Washington Nationals more often in divisional play, instead of the Rays, Red Sox, and Yankees, which will definitely help both Halladay's ERA and his win total.
Philly has a lot of quality prospects that they would be able to offer, but they do not really want to give up right-handed pitching prospect Kyle Drabek. I think that in the end, if they want to pull this trade off, it will probably cost them a couple of their top young pitchers (Carlos Carrasco and J.A. Happ) along with a hitting prospect.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Dispatch's Twitter page, the Cards are "still in the mix" for Halladay.
They will be a team that will work a little more to get him away from the other teams with more minor league talent. Their best offer would probably be something involving hard-hitting outfielder Rick Ankiel, along with young right-hander Jess Todd and another pitching prospect.
BOSTON RED SOX
With their rich, rich minor league system, the Sox are definitely one of the favorites to steal Halladay away from their divisional foe.
With young pitchers such as Michael Bowden, Justin Masterson, and—even though they will more than likely not be traded—Casey Kelly and Clay Buchholz, Boston has plenty of young arms to intrigue the Blue Jays to pull the trigger on this deal.
I think that if I had to make a choice right now as to where Halladay will end up, I would have to say that he, along with Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, will be leading the Red Sox to an AL East championship.
NEW YORK YANKEES
The Yankees are a team that is always a major buyer when the trade deadline rolls around each year. It is apparent that they will not go away quietly in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes, especially with Boston pursuing him.
New York could offer one or more of their talented young arms (Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Andrew Brackman), but other than catcher Jesus Montero and outfielder Austin Jackson, who they do not want to trade away, they are not terribly deep as far as young hitters go.
Plus who knows, maybe they could even get Toronto to take Chien-Ming Wang off of their hands.
My sleeper of all of these teams.
The Rockies would definitely love to bring Halladay back to his home state (where he already has a home) to try to keep them in contention for the Wild Card—and who knows, maybe even challenge the Dodgers for the NL West crown.
However, acquiring Halladay could come at a costly price for Colorado, as they would likely have to give up a young major league pitcher like Ubaldo Jimenez and maybe even third baseman Ian Stewart, along with some minor leaguers.
Like I said earlier, in the end I believe that Roy Halladay will end up in a Boston uniform come July 31, instantly making them the favorite to win both the AL East and the World Series.
**If you have any thoughts, feel free to look me up on Twitter at www.twitter.com/carvelli3, or you can e-mail me at MCarWV@aol.com
So, until next time, thanks for reading.